Chipping Distance Control

May 17th, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you’re looking to have better distance control with your sterling irons for chipping, then I’ve got three things here that can hopefully help you out with that.

The first thing is to check your contact where you’re hitting the ball on the clubface, and why that is important is if you headed in the center where the center of mass, center of gravity is, that is where you’re going to get the most ball speed, so think of like a direct head on collision, it’s good to have the highest energy transfer, and then the more that you strike away from that center, the more ball speed is going to be lost. So, if you check and you are striking the ball all over the face, you could be using the same club, be using the same swing, be swinging the same speed, but it all over the face is going to affect the ball speed, so the distance control was moved to be affected as well, so how you can check that is get some of this Dr. Scholl’s OdorX Foot Powder Spray. it doesn’t have to be this particular brand or this kind, just something that you can spray on the clubface there, and when you do that, spray a little bit on the clubface there, and then you hit five or 10 balls, there’s going to be little imprints of where the ball struck the clubface, and you can kind of see your strike batters. Generally, I’d recommend with the chipping practice like this, doing this from the fringe versus the really thick rough because if the ball is sitting down on the thick rough, the grass blades are going to get all in the way and the spray is kind of going to get wiped off. It will be hard to tell where your strike pattern is. So, try and do this from the fringe, and just see, spray a little bit on, hit a few balls, see where your contact pattern is, and then work on trying to reduce that dispersion to indicated as consistently as you can and that center or wherever you are trying to strike it. Sometimes, with chipping, you don’t always want to strike it on the center. So, that’s the first thing, just check your contact there, make sure you’re consistently hitting it in the same spot and hitting it where you want every time.

The second thing would be to try to be as smooth as you can when you are chipping and not have any short backswings, and then jerk, and hit at it and pop at it, and there is a couple of reasons for that, why that is important. First, day to day, our bodies are all – we feel a little bit different. One day, we feel a bit better, the next day, we don’t feel as good – there’s fluctuations to how we all feel every day. So, if you can remove and you can be a little bit smoother, and work a little bit more with a pendular action, so taking it back, and then taking the club back as far as you need to, and then riding the clubface and through impact, you’re going to be working a little bit more with gravity, and gravity day to day is of the same Monday as it is Tuesday, as it is Wednesday, so gravity is the same all the time so that you can remove a little bit of that, that human effort in trying and just be more smooth, be more relaxed, work with a pendular type motion that’s going to help your distance control as well.

And then also, another reason for that, being smooth, is that if you think about a tetherball going around a maypole, if there is no tension, jerkiness in the string, that ball is going to come around at the same point in space every time. However, if you put a little bit of jerkiness, a little twinge in it, then it’s going to affect – it’s not going to quite look as good, not going to be as smooth, it’s not going to come around the same point in space every time and you are not dealing with a large amount of space to have consistent contact here, so ideally, just be as smooth as you can and work with a pendular motion, and just ride the pendulum through, and that’s going to help you be a little bit more consistent and it’s going to help you with your distance control as well.

And then, so those are two things. The third thing is more of a drill to – if say, you don’t practice a lot, you don’t get a chance to play a lot, or even if you do and you’re still struggling with a little bit of feel on your chipping and how far to take it back, then what you could do is do this three practice swing drill or you can do just two if you want, so just a couple swings. The first one, make a practice swing and do so with the speed that you know is going to be way short, and then just kind of get a feel for that, and then you can to one that is a little bit more than the first one but is still not going to get to the target, and then for the third one, do it a little bit more and enough that you think is going to get there that time, so it’s kind of a way of getting a little sense of how much effort your body needs to put in to get that distance down, so you can do that with three, three swings, two swings. Try and do it maybe you when your other playing partners or competitors are doing their thing so that you are not holding off play when you are doing that, or you can also, instead of building up the amount of swing that you need to make or take, do one that you know it’s going to be way short, do one that you know is going to be way long, and then when you have the short and the long, then just kind of for the last one, you kind of dial it into roughly what you think it’s going to take to do that there. [0:06:38] the drill, I guess, for a little thing that you can do before you are hitting your chip.

So, those are the three things: check your contact with the foot powder spray, make sure the striking, it is consistent as you can. What will help with that will be swinging smooth, working with a pendular type motion, and just riding the pendulum as best as you can, and then working with a two or three-practice swing drill to toggle in the amount, how much you need to take the club back in the backswing to get it to your target. So, try those three things, hopefully, those will help, and put them into practice, and hopefully, your distance control will improve quickly and also over time.

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